Buenos Aires held its primary elections Sunday, while in Neuquen, which does not have primaries, yesterday’s results were final.
Buenos Aires City Mayor Mauricio Macri’s PRO party (center-right) won 47.34 percent of the votes (Horacio Rodriguez Larreta was elected as Mayor candidate); The ECO party (center-right) achieved second place with 22.26 percent (choosing Martin Lousteau); Frente para la Victoria (the party of President Cristina Kirchner) came in third place with 18.72 percent of the votes (Martin Recalde was the winning candidate). The Left and Workers’ Front came in fourth place and was the only left slate that will reach the general election.
The Left and Workers’ Front will be the left alternative in July’s general election
The slate headed by candidate for Mayor, Myriam Bregman, a human rights lawyer representing the workers of Zanon and Madygraf (both occupied factories) and a militant of the Socialist Workers Party (PTS), won 2.30 percent of the votes (the established minimum is 1.5 percent; any candidate below that percentage won’t move on to the general elections). The fifth election ballot will be the one headed by Luis Zamora, an independent candidate from Autodeterminación y Libertad (a coalition organized exclusively for elections).
Sunday night, the Left and Workers’ Front addressed the press at the Bauen Hotel (occupied and run by its workers), a few blocks from Congress, and later they spoke to militants, activists and supporters gathering in front of the hotel. Myriam Bregman shared the press conference with Marcelo Ramal from the Workers Party (PO) and Patricio del Corro from the PTS, both candidates for legislator. Bregman noted that the Left and Workers’ Front wasn’t a local movement, but a national political force: “We are a national political force; we will have two legislators in Neuquen, where Raul Godoy from the Zanon factory has been elected again. We have also achieved great results in Mendoza and Salta; we came in third place in the governor’s races in both provinces’ ” Also, national Congressman Nicolas Del Caño came in second place in Mendoza City’s primary election for city Mayor.
Compared to its 2011 results, last Sunday’s election has showed a step forward for the Left and Workers’ Front. In July of 2011, the left coalition reached just 0.78 percent for Mayor and 1.01 percent for City legislators. This year, the Left and Workers’ Front received three times that figure for Mayor, and doubled its previous number of votes for legislators.
Neuquen: new left and workers’ deputies
Elections in Neuquen came after the eruption of the Calbuco volcano in Chile last week. All of Patagonia, including the province of Neuquen, has been greatly affected. The current administration party (MPN, right-wing) got 37 percent of the votes. In second place was for Frente para la Victoria (Kirchnerist party).
The Left and Workers’ Front had a strong showing in both the governor’s race (3.4 percent) and legislator’s race (4.7 percent), earning two seats in the legislature. Thanks to this electoral success, Left and Workers’ Front will have now two provincial deputies: Raul Godoy, Zanon worker and PTS militant, and Patricia Jure from the PO.
Left and Workers’ Front grows as the Left alternative
After coming in third place in Mendoza’s governor race the previous weekend, Left and Workers’ Front ended in fourth place in Buenos Aires City primary elections and got two provincial deputies in Neuquen. Zanon ceramics’ worker, Raul Godoy, got elected for the second time in Neuquen’s Legislature. Now, the left coalition prepares to get a wider support for the future local general elections in several provinces, and in presidential elections in August and October.